I am a 35 year old Mom of two children, and I have had some issues the past few years.
Let me preface by saying that I have always been a nervous driver. I did not get my license until 18, and have always been reticent to drive. My mom suffered anxiety attacks on the car while driving when I was little, and I assume it was a bit of a learned anxiety.
My second pregnancy and post-partum was difficult. I had recently learned that my son had autism while pregnant with a second child. Soon after birth, my husband became involved in a very stressful and complicated custody case concerning his children. Needless to say, I was stressed.
Up until this point, my nervousness about driving had definitely increased, and I rarely drove out of town very much (unless I had to).
After my second birth, my driving anxiety really ramped up, and I had my first actual panic attack.
I visited my GP about 3 months into this, and was given Celexa.
I took a Celexa at around 7 am in the morning, and by 745 am I was experiencing rolling panic attacks (I should add that I was really nervous about taking the medication and had read far too many posts about side effects, etc.) I felt very panicky for about 3 days.
The GP said that I might have BP and that I should see someone.
Well, I was simply too busy to do so, and I never went.I felt like I did not meet the criteria for BP at that time.
4 years passed, and I continued to have driving anxiety. I tried a lot of natural things...more exercise, forcing myself to drive, etc. I should also add that I do have basic anxiety about everyday things as well. The driving anxiety is the only one that interferes with my everyday life.
My panic attacks subsided to nearly nothing, and now I have them only rarely.
I decided to visit a Psychiatrist in July of 2012 to see if I could get a handle on my driving anxiety (which is a PIA as far as my everyday life). After a 30 minute session, and based mostly on my experience with Celexa, I was dx with BPII and he wanted to put me on Lactimil.
I disagreed with the dx at the time, because I felt like my answers were being "massaged" into a dx. I have never had what one would call a depressive episode, and I have not met the criteria for a hypomanic episode either. In fact, I will never forget that he continued asking me if I was ever irritated and I finally said that yes, sometimes my teenage stepdaughter irritates me when she doesn't put up her laundry, and he replied "See! Mood swings."
I really felt like it did not fit.
I visited my GP again (I have a new GP as other one retired), explained the visit, and he replied that a Celexa would not have put me into a manic state in 45 minutes and that I am suffering from anxiety and panic attacks.
So, here we are. I'm still working on my anxiety, but after being told by a Psych that I have BPII, even though I have disagreed with the dx, I wanted to present my case to a board like this and get some feedback.
If I felt like I met the criteria, it would be one thing...but I just don't. But I want to make sure before I try another antidepressant for my anxiety.
I don't think that I am a moody person. I have asked multiple family members, and they have said the same thing. I have never had a defined depressive episode. I'm fairly level with the exception of PMS. I have never engaged in the 'risky behaviors' I read about associated with BPII. I have never had huge bursts of energy/creativity (although some days at work I get more accomplished than others). I'm a fairly sensitive person and regularly cry at movies, but any time when I am sad or upset or irritated, I can always race it back to an event.
But then I read that anxiety is often comorbid with BP, and I'm back to wondering again.